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All My Sons - How does Miller create dramatic tension in this extract from the play?

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Introduction

All My Sons Exam Practice How does Miller create dramatic tension in this extract from the play? This extract begins with Chris and Ann deciding how they're going to break the news to the Kellers. They start with Joe Keller, and he somewhat approves. The scene is lighthearted until Keller finds out the George is on the phone for Ann from Columbia. This drives is suspicions and gets him very protective. He begins to try and hint to Chris that Ann is here to try and convict him of the death of Larry. Chris then gets very angry with him, and Joe compensates by bringing out his extreme love and care for the success of his family. The tension of the scene gradually builds up until this part, where Joe Keller abruptly gets very content and jokes about how they will "get Kate so drunk that night they'll all get married!" Meanwhile Ann is very nervous about breaking the news to Kate. Miller creates a slight form of tension here, as the audience also feels anxious to see what would happen when the news is broken to Kate, as she says that she is "not ...read more.

Middle

This increases the rate of anticipation. The most obvious feature of drama is perhaps the dialogue. Miller uses the skill of using offensive speech to bring about the tension. He deliberately causes conflict between two characters to increase the tension. More over, Miller uses stage directions as a dramatic device to bring about the tension in a scene. Keller makes a 'distracted' entrance onto stage. This stage direction helps anticipate the tension, so the audience is therefore prepared for conflict. Both of these features are illustrated when Keller begins to accuse Ann: "Keller (asking uncomfortably): Chris! You- you think you know her pretty good?" Chris then replies to this very apprehensively, and is somewhat hurt. The stage directions show that Keller brings about his suspicion to cover his state of paranoia, and his speech shows how he is starting off a fight between him and Chris, which increases the tension. Keller's speech includes words like 'she' and 'they' when referring to Ann and her family, which adds to Keller's insignificant view of Ann's family. This further aggravates Chris and Miller creates more tension with his anger. ...read more.

Conclusion

Overall, I feel Miller does a terrific job when creating dramatic tension in this extract and throughout the whole of the play, with the use of various dramatic devices like stage directions, dialogue, interesting features on the set (such as the tree), props used, and how George is a catalyst for the uncovering of Joe's secret. I have noticed that whenever Joe hears of George's presence he begins to get very uncomfortable, and compensates his guiltiness with the accusation of other people's faults. I feel he is in some sort of denial as he keeps telling himself that he committed this crime for his family. However Chris is angry that the world has not been changed, that the selflessness of his fellow soldiers counts for nothing. He feels guilty to make money out of a business which does not value the men on whose labour it relies. So he keeps getting angry at his father. This extract is a key to the turning point in the play, as the truth is to be unraveled very soon after. So its significance is in the fact that it prepares the audience for the disagreements and arguments where the truth is revealed in the play, with the constant rise and fall in tension. Reina Hashash Y11-5 ...read more.

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